The stark and haunting simplicity of this photograph depicting the last earthly possessions of Mahatma Gandhi was the catalyst for Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence, a wide-ranging examination of the history of civil disobedience which opened earlier this month at the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. “When I saw this picture [while] reading Gandhi’s autobiography, for me it became like a testament, like a poem. And I never forgot it,” Josef Helfenstein, director of the Menil Collection, recently commented. The exhibition, which coincides with the 145th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth, features a special focus on photography, and uses art and artifacts to depict symbols of protest throughout time, as well as the contributions of icons from Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela, who inspired nonviolent movements that reverberated around the world. Experiments with Truth runs through February 1.
(Photo: Courtesy James Otis/Gandhiserve)